Some Firefox Users Still on Fx2

While adoption of Firefox 3 continues to grow at a breakneck pace, we have continued to notice one other interesting trend – some Firefox users are still on Fx2.  Fortunately, the vast majority of Firefox users are always on the latest version of Fx3, and we’ve seen some great strides in recent months thanks to major updates helping most remaining Fx2 users upgrade to Fx3.

To help the remaining Fx2 users complete their upgrade, we thought we’d conduct a little investigation.  One relatively easy question to answer is… where in the world are these users?

The chart below looks at usage of Firefox over a recent week-long period and shows the percentage of Firefox users in each continent using Fx2.  The average is pretty close to 15%.  The continents are sorted left-to-right according to the where most Firefox users (regardless of version) are located.  For example, about 46% of the total Firefox user base is located in Europe, about 32% in North America, etc.

Perhaps more interesting and relevant is an analysis by country.  There are a handful of countries showing Fx2 usage levels above 20%:

If anyone has any thoughts as to how we can better help these particular users and make sure they get upgraded to the latest version of Fx3, please chime in with a comment.

20 responses

  1. kwerboom wrote on :

    Two things: 1) They are on a version of Windows before Windows 2000/NT 5 like Windows 98SE that Firefox 3 doesn’t support. 2) Mozilla does “partner builds” not builds that upgrade “from any version to any version”. Maybe they are not on a partner build like say that upgrades to 3.0.5, so they never see an upgrade offer.

    Finally, could you please put labels next to the icons for filling out comments on your blog? I had a heck of time figuring out which was the name field, which was the email field, and which was the website field.

  2. Tom wrote on :

    Dist issues perhaps. At work we’re stuck with SLED10 and due to lib issues (gtk etc), Firefox 3 is impossible without major tweaks.

  3. AndersH wrote on :

    Do you receive “update-pings” from those FF2 users? That is, do you reach them with the upgrade-offers?

    What OS are they on? And what version?

    (It is kind of hard to guess what should go into the required fields in this comments form. I had to use firebug to inspect the names of the icons)

  4. Havvy wrote on :

    Somebody could contact all the people in Antarctica and ask them to switch. It wouldn’t take very long. 😛

  5. Kroc Camen wrote on :

    Get Asus to finally pacakge Firefox 3 for eee-linux, perhaps?

  6. Alan wrote on :

    Is it possible that South America, Asia and Africa have a slightly higher percentage as their users are more likely to be using older equipment and thus possibly have an outdated OS (such as Windows 98) from which they can’t run Fireofx 3?

  7. myakura wrote on :

    If many people in those countries still uses Win9x, wouldn’t that make sense? It’s not “they don’t”, but “they can’t”.
    (It’s just my guess, though)

  8. Robert Kaiser wrote on :

    One problem I tend to hear again and again are UI changes, esp. the awesomebar, but also others like the back/forward button that scare away users who tried FF3 and who are going back to FF2.
    Not sure how to deal with those but their impact also on others through hearsay is a potential problem playing into this matter.

  9. Steve wrote on :

    In the case of my Vista 64bit, as a normal user I never get a prompt and the Check for Updates is grayed out. This is using FF3. I have to run Firefox as an admin user, then I can update it. Many wouldn’t notice such a thing was happening. So maybe user permissions is the big culprit.

  10. Dan wrote on :

    I’ve used some other people’s computers that have Fx2 on them and started to upgrade to Fx3 but by the time I’d finished using the machine the update hadn’t finished downloading by a long way. Somehow working towards quicker downloads would help.

  11. FACORAT Fabrice wrote on :

    I guess also that is theses countries, most people have access to Internet from cyber-coffee. If the manager of the internet coffee don’t update Firefox, then the user end up using FF2.

  12. Finite wrote on :

    I also noticed the lack of FF3 builds for SLED10, after I bought a computer with it preinstalled (I soon abandoned it for Ubuntu).

    How many other OSes are able to run FF2 but not 3?

  13. Eugene wrote on :

    It would be nice if Fx 3 worked faster in GNU/Linux environment. — situation with performance does not dispose to upgrade.

  14. qtchic86 wrote on :

    Well, let’s not forget that many of these FF2 users are could be web designers, simply using the browser to test the site for other FF2 users. Many of the countries listed here happen to have a large population of IT professionals. Check it:

  15. Pete Jensen wrote on :

    Simple. I give FF3 an honest try every few months. Give up and return to FF2

    — Bookmark management
    — Frightening history
    — Bookmark management
    — Bookmark management

  16. Dean Russ wrote on :

    For me, it’s just a case of an old OS. I’m not paying to upgrade, so I’m stuck with winME.

    I’m told that there’s a utility called KernelEx that will let Firefox 3.0 run on older versions of Windows, but it makes my system not boot. 🙁

  17. cuz84d wrote on :

    Simple. Start by fixing all the old bugs in FF 3 and up, like performance of FF 3, and FF 3.5, printing for one, installer problems, UI problems .. and plugins and whatever other reason people don’t want to use the new version.

    People should be able to skip over performance related versions like 3 and 3.5 and go directly to 3.0.1 or 3.1 or 3.5.4.

  18. cuz84d wrote on :

    It doesn’t take a rocket scientist or study to realize what you can test everyday to know FF doesn’t work like IE or any other windows app using standard .net libraries. FF is written by so many contributors it takes forever to get real bugs fixed, we’re always re-writing and taking out, busting, regressions, and just not attending to real world issues (basic problems like mentioned above)
    The API’s are not we’ll documented and not modular enough to solve a lot of issues at once like .NET does.

  19. Anon wrote on :

    I just like FF2 because it works better than FF3. Mozilla tried to force a update on me, that I didn’t like. So I just deleted the ‘attempted’ update.

  20. joe edgar wrote on :

    We really need to help those antarctica users! 25%… that means one of the four computers in antarctica still has fx2 installed on it. Someone should call that guy and ask him to upgrade.